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Guest David

Interrupt Voting Process

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Guest David

Yesterday the Student Government at my university held a General Student Assembly. During a voting process the president opened the floor for comments, did comments toward a member that had an against point in the previous debate and interrupted the voting process while votes where being counted, 3 times he asked the count of quorum of over 1,250 persons (that is the required 10% quorum) in less than 10 minutes during the voting process. A point of order was not being taken, and everything become a total mess that ended with the conclusion of the assembly. The thing is: can a voting process be interrupted and delayed for 10 minutes by the president *AFTER* the voting process begun? Thanks ahead for any answer and references to support them.

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"INTERRUPTION OF VOTES. Interruptions during the taking of a vote are permitted only before any member has actually voted, unless, as sometimes occurs in ballot voting, other business is being transacted during voting or tabulating. For points of order regarding the conduct of a vote, see below and pages 250–51. "  RONR (11th ed.), p. 408

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On 4/13/2018 at 9:07 AM, Guest David said:

Yesterday the Student Government at my university held a General Student Assembly. During a voting process the president opened the floor for comments, did comments toward a member that had an against point in the previous debate and interrupted the voting process while votes where being counted, 3 times he asked the count of quorum of over 1,250 persons (that is the required 10% quorum) in less than 10 minutes during the voting process. A point of order was not being taken, and everything become a total mess that ended with the conclusion of the assembly. The thing is: can a voting process be interrupted and delayed for 10 minutes by the president *AFTER* the voting process begun? Thanks ahead for any answer and references to support them.

Yes and No.

No, nothing is permitted to interrupt a vote once the first vote has been cast.  The chair was completely wrong in doing so at all, let alone three times.

But Yes, if nobody raises a point of order and just lets him do it, it can be done.  It is the chair's responsibility to ensure that the rules are followed, but it is every member's responsibility as well--especially when the chair acts improperly.

At this point, however, it's water under the bridge.    

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
On 4/13/2018 at 6:07 AM, Guest David said:

A point of order was not being taken, and everything become a total mess that ended with the conclusion of the assembly.

There is no need to suffer a despot. The point of order may be repeated twice, and, if continually ignored, put to a vote by its maker over the objection of the president, if need be.

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2 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

There is no need to suffer a despot. The point of order may be repeated twice, and, if continually ignored, put to a vote by its maker over the objection of the president, if need be.

Hmmm.  So, we interrupt voting to vote on a point of order that the chair had no right to interrupt  voting.  Interesting. :huh:

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2 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Hmmm.  So, we interrupt voting to vote on a point of order that the chair had no right to interrupt  voting.  Interesting. :huh:

 

41 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

Nope.  You wait until the vote is finished, then raise the point of order  --  page 250, lines 30ff.

Well, I don’t know. Under normal circumstances, sure, but it appears that in this situation, the chair had already interrupted voting and had delayed for ten minutes, with no apparent end to the delay in sight. At some point, the assembly needs to be able to regain control of the meeting. I don’t think the chair can use the “no interruptions during voting” excuse to just do whatever he wants without challenge, especially when the chair has already extensively interrupted the vote himself.

Edited by Josh Martin

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